The Women of Troy (7-1-2) were tested in their weekend road trip to the Pacific Northwest, but today they face an even greater test as they travel to San Diego (6-4-2) to square off against the Toreros, who handed them their lone loss of the season.
“Going into this game, we’re really serious,” said freshman midfielder Haley Boysen. “They embarrassed us on our home field, so we want to do the same.”
The Toreros defeated the Women of Troy in their season opener at McAlister Field 1-0 back in August, but a lot has changed since then.
Although the Women of Troy carry a six-game winning streak into the match, the Toreros have struggled to string together any consistency this season.
Despite this, USC coach Ali Khosroshahin knows his team can’t overlook any opponent, as evidenced by its recent two-game road trip against opponents with losing records.
“You can’t take anybody lightly,” Khosroshahin said. “In the sports world, on any given day, anybody can beat you.”
Slow starts have plagued the Women of Troy in back-to-back games, but the play of the freshmen has really helped give the team a lift.
Boysen, along with freshman midfielder Autumn Altamirano and freshman forward/midfielder Elizabeth Eddy, has filled up the box score in recent games, and all are playing integral roles in the team’s success.
“It’s taken them some time to figure out our style of play and how their style of play can mesh with our style, but I think they’re finally figuring it out,” Khosroshahin said. “They’re very talented players and they’re only going to get better.”
On the other end of the field, freshman defender Mia Bruno and freshman goalkeeper Shelby Church have helped solidify a backline that continues to be the backbone for the team.
“Mia and Shelby have really stepped up,” Altamirano said. “Shelby has filled some big shoes and she’s doing really well … both are doing a really great job.”
Despite allowing early goals in consecutive games last weekend, the defense has held strong, limiting opponents’ opportunities and not allowing teams to score multiple goals this season.
Now that this is the second time facing the Toreros, Khosroshahin said he sees this game as a measuring stick as to how far the team has developed.
“We have an opportunity to measure the progress that we’ve made since the beginning of the season,” Khosroshahin said. “Hopefully, we can get a good idea of where we are from where we were.”